Examining ownership succession plans for 13 NFL franchises

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by JustAnotherBearsFan99, Jun 13, 2014.

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Would you like to see the Bears remain in the family, or be sold after Virginia passes away?

  1. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    This is an interesting article in light of what will happen to the Bears if/when Virginia passes away. Do you hope the team remains in the family?

    [​IMG]
    Virginia and George McCaskey

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  2. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Now that Mikey the Moron no longer has anything to do with the team other than his ownership of some of the shares the franchise is in good hands again or at least as good as they ever would have been had Mugs Halas survived and then George McCaskey took over leaving Mikey out of the picture entirely. Michael was never a football savvy owner and yet he had to have his hands in the pie and the franchise suffered for years because of that.

    George McCaskey is far more of a football man and although unlike his namesake grandfather in personality his love for the Bears is no less and I think his actions over the past several years have proven that. The Bears are an heirloom franchise and he's made it clear that he intends to help them become the Monsters of the Midway again. I think he'd like to see them win a Super Bowl again before Ginny passes and he knows that has to happen fairly soon. She's 91 years old!

    I'm very content with the ownership now despite the fact that Ginny put the kibosh on the Honey Bears long ago. LOL

    George McCaskey is a fairly young man so he should remain the Bears COB for a very long time and maybe the real question should be what happens when George steps down. Are there other sons or daughters in the family who share that same love of the Bears who may be able to take on the ownership role for the next generation. As it stands I don't see the Bears leaving the control of the McCaskey family any time soon and I'm good with that.
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  3. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I've thought about this a lot lately. It would be really cool to win a Super Bowl while Virginia is still alive & able to appreciate it. I've always thought she was a classy lady who loved her dad and the Bears to the max.
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  4. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Following Ralph Wilson's death Ginny is now the oldest living owner in the NFL and she has been a staunch supporter of the Bears her whole life. She always said that football was for the men but damned if she wouldn't have made a far better President or COB than that idiot husband and son of hers were. The apple didn't fall far from Ed's tree when Mikey was born. If GHS was still alive he would have called Mikey the second dumbest SOB he knew.

    I'm thankful that after Mikey screwed up the deal with hiring Dave McGinnis that she finally replaced him as the CEO with Ted Phillips and with JA as the GM. It wasn't perfect but for those who lived through the Mikey era it was like a spot of blue sky on a very rainy day. The team improved but not near enough and yet I feel all of that is about to change. This front office is bent on building championship teams......plural, and I think they're gonna do it.
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  5. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Although this article is worthy of it's own thread it's more rightfully attached to this one of yours 99 since it goes down the very same path you brought up and that I've been commenting on. Many of us have been through the dark days mentioned here but for those who haven't here's a very brief yet complete summary of the Bears under the ownership of the McCaskey Family. Now I think we can all see why it's a much brighter day with an even better future ahead.

    Sports ownership: The foundation for success

    By Sam Householder@SamHouseholder on Jun 13 2014, 11:00a 15
    [​IMG]

    Sports owners have been in the news a lot lately for a variety of reasons. For the first time in a long while it actually seems like the direction of the Bears ownership is in a very good spot.

    The thing about owners is that they set the tone for the franchise, but they can do it so many different ways. They can be hands on and bad at it (Dan Snyder, Jerry Jones), they can be hands on and good (the late George Steinbrenner and Dr. Jerry Buss come to mind), or they can be hands off good (Rooney family, Robert Kraft) or hands off bad (The Tribune Company's time owning the Cubs, William Clay Ford).

    Owning a sports franchise isn't necessarily rocket science; it takes a lot of money to get ownership but once you have ownership, so long as you hire good people around you and have a good sense of how the sport works, you can probably find success at it.

    But there are a lot of bad owners in sports. Whether it's guys like Jones and Snyder, who for whatever reason think they have the knowledge and know-how to build a championship team, or guys like Donald Sterling who seem to show no interest in having a contender, being a bad sports owner isn't particularly difficult.

    Which brings me to the Chicago Bears. In their entire history they have had only one ownership group: The Halas/McCaskey family (although it should be noted that Edward "Dutch" Sternaman was a partner in the team until the 1930s). But throughout the last 94 years they've gone through ups and downs, lots and lots of highs and some definite lean years.
    Papa Bear Halas is a legend in his own right and his record speaks for itself. He oversaw the Bears winning eight championships and set them on the course for their ninth.

    (Note: He did miss the current McKenna/Ryan partnership above)

    After Halas passed, ownership was passed to his daughter Virginia Halas McCaskey who still owns the team. She falls more into the "hands off" ownership category as she has left the actual operations of the team to her children.

    The first post-Halas president was her son Michael, who oversaw the team from 1983-1999. Michael is, to put it nicely, looked down upon with distaste among most Bears fans. McCaskey destructed the dominating Super Bowl XX-winning Bears and over time let his relationship with coach Mike Ditka erode until it completely exploded. McCaskey then hired Dave Wannstedt, whose time as head coach was abysmal.

    Because Michael was at the helm during the lean '90's years he is mainly seen as the guy who clashed with Ditka and is the man responsible for the "McCheapskies" label that is even still sometimes thrown around, no matter how wrong it is.

    Michael sealed his own fate with the botched hiring of Dave McGinnis in 1999 and he was replaced with Ted Phillips, who was and is, still, largely a behind-the-scenes guys. Michael replaced his father, Ed, as chairman of the board. The invisibility of Phillips and the fact that he replaced a man as unpopular among fans as Michael meant that fans' mistrust of the organization remained in place into most of the last decade.

    That began to shift, though, when Lovie Smith arrived and the Bears began to win more. Smith and former general manager Jerry Angelo were successful to a point, and started to at least turn fans' opinion of the front office. Michael was still chairman of the board and, with Phillips as president and the Bears still managing to miss the playoffs more than making them, fans' distrust continued.

    Until 2010.

    That was the year it was announced that Michael would step down as chairman and his brother George would take over in 2011. At first it seemed like more of the same, he said as much, but something has been different about George.

    In mid-2011, T.J. Shouse wrote that it was time for McCaskey to make his mark. It was after that season he fired Jerry Angelo. On Dec. 27, 2012, Erik Duerrwaechter speculated, with solid evidence, that McCaskey could be itching to fire Smith. Four days later, Smith was out despite a 10-6 record.

    Since taking over as chairman, George has been more visible than Phillips or his brother Michael are. He's done radio interviews, he helped decide to mend fences with Ditka and retire his number (quite enthusiastically if you recall).

    Overall you get the feeling that he really cares about the franchise, he really cares about winning. Since he took over he's up-ended the status quo and brought in new-age minds like Phil Emery and Marc Trestman. And if you listen to all three of them talk, they all extend the same message: sustained, long-term success, building to win multiple championships.
    Chicago has seen good and bad ownership. At a time when in owners are in the news for many of the wrong reasons, it's nice to think that the Bears are in good hands for a change.

    How do you feel about the Bears' current chairman?
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  6. Bearstuff

    Bearstuff Yes, in the woods. Staff Member SuperFan

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    I don't want to start singing Kumbaya or anything, but it does seem like the stars are aligned right now, at least in the front office.
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  7. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    Hoping he can be the next Rocky Wirtz . The Hawks did a nice turn around and George McC seems to be on track to do similar things.

    Would be really nice if the Bulls can get Love and C Anthony and make this a 3 team city for championship contention. Sorry Cubs fans just not happening.
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  8. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Just in case the stars do align I can bring my guitar if you remember the words to Kumbaya. :punkguitar:

    :rofl2:
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  9. little bear

    little bear Assistant Head Coach

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    I don't care as long as they bring back the Honey Bears! :boobywiggle:

    [​IMG]
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  10. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    The difference between George and Mikey is that George sought advice and an association with other successful franchise owners in the NFL and other pro leagues. Michael thought he knew it all and was far too arrogant to do that. After all he has a PhD in business so what could they tell him he didn't already know. :asshat3:

    As for the Bulls I'd say yes to Love and no to Carmelo. The Bulls play defense and Carmelo must have it written in his contract that he doesn't have to because he never has. He's a one trick pony you'll never win a championship with.
  11. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    George just seems like a down-to-earth kind of guy. He also seems like a smart man who has a high football IQ in particular. He's made some brilliant moves, and he's positioned the Bears to have sustained success. He seems to be humble enough to not feel like he has to impress everyone and be in the limelight. Once a front office or owner gets to wanting the spotlight on their "brilliance" they usually end up doing stupid moves. I like the quiet thoughtful guys who carefully put the pieces in place for sustained excellence - and then just keep in the background like George has done.
  12. little bear

    little bear Assistant Head Coach

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    [​IMG]
  13. MarkBear

    MarkBear Veteran

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    I am excited to see a different change in the front office and ownership. Hope this definitely will bring multiple championships over here. Also hope we do get Love. Don't he practice with Rose a lot? And to that GO WHITE SOX!!!! LOL
  14. Ski-Whiz

    Ski-Whiz George Halas Staff Member

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    I remember reading about the Heir tax. Something about the McCaskey's will have to come up with major tax money just to keep the portion Virginia owns. I remember it saying you can skip the tax every other heir. Virginia didn't have to pay any tax, but whomever gets her portion will have to pay.

    I'm gonna try and find it.
  15. Ski-Whiz

    Ski-Whiz George Halas Staff Member

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    Found a little clip from an article:

    So it looks like while she owns 80%, she gifted some shares to her 11 kids. Not sure how that will work out when she dies, but it could complicate who controls the team. According to the article, no one knows except that family how it will work out.

    That article was from 2006, hence they say she's in her 80s.
  16. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Yeah IIRC the old man set up some form of a Generation Skipping Trust to avoid having the Estate Tax apply to the portions his grandchildren received but to comply with the NFL Rules in effect at the time Ginny had to receive and hold 20% of the ownership. That was before they changed it to 10% for the Rooney's. When Ginny passes that will go to her children and that's the amount that will be taxed.

    I'm not 100% sure if it's taxed based on the value at the time of his death or on it's current value Ski so whatever you can find on it would be helpful. I'm thinking it was the value in 1983 when he died but even at that value the potential tax would be huge for a family that isn't exactly cash rich from other investments.
  17. JJ-30

    JJ-30 Veteran

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    With all the trouble other teams are having with cheerleaders, I am kind of glad we don't have any right now. But like most of you I want the Honey Bears back.
  18. JJ-30

    JJ-30 Veteran

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    Funny how thing change a few years ago we all wanted the Bears out of the families hands and today we love how the family is handleing the Bears.
  19. Ski-Whiz

    Ski-Whiz George Halas Staff Member

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    We aren't sure 100% what is the change, but they really changed the way they are running it. For starters, they are acting like they want to win. Aka they are spending money. Before most felt they were only cashing the checks, and not spending anything on the team.

    Maybe it's George McCaskey? Either way, they really changed the way they act, so I'm sold with today's changes.
  20. DaTreeBears

    DaTreeBears Pro-Bowler

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    Light in the loafer boys would never allow it I still contend he's working on the chippendales.

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